Child Of Eden
Mechanically, the spiritual successor to Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Rez plays like a cross between an on-rails shooter and an interactive music video.
If that sounds like the kind of airy-fairy concept an arts graduate has sweaty dreams about, don’t fret. Although the trance-like experience Child Of Eden offers often defies description, it never fails to offer visually astounding Move-based fun.
Although the game works with a DualShock, you’d be doing yourself a massive disservice if you don’t play it with Sony’s motion controller. Originally a Kinect-compatible title, the dual-arm-waving controls used to paint and extinguish targets in the Xbox 360 version have been replaced with satisfying pointing and stabbing gestures.
The PS3 port admittedly loses some of the subtlety of control seen in the finger-clenching original, but on the upside you’ll look 83% less of a prat by ditching the Minority Report-esque movements.
In its purest form, Eden might be a simplistic gallery shooter. But trying to nail it down to an existing genre misses the point. This isn’t a game about how you shoot, but rather what you shoot.
Pigeonholing a title that showcases a slowly evolving ecosystem over its six short stages seems unfair when the art design on display is so outstanding.
Starting off with brilliant balls of energy, crystallised shapes and dancing single-celled organisms, later levels then progress to early sea life (such as a majestic, gliding manta ray) and eventually even modern machinery – a speeding bullet train, say.
Each of the radically different stages is punctuated by what you’d probably consider boss fights. While technically you have to off these screen-encompassing enemies before they off you, they mainly exist to give you a chance to revel in their incredible design.
From a giant disco ball of doom covered in gyrating light to a colossal blue whale that dissolves into a glistening phoenix, rarely have PS3 creatures looked more beguiling or moved so rhythmically.
And really, this is a game all about the rhythm of life. Everything in Eden is about creation. Projectiles you fire create melodies and gentle pulsating rumbles in your Move controller to form a steadily evolving beat.
Even the plot, what little there is, centres on restoring the memories of a galactic maiden called Lumi. Yet attempting to clumsily pick out the meat-and-tatties meaning of the story is akin to trying to dissect the gentle beauty of a butterfly with a chainsaw.
Such ethereal charms won’t appeal to every Johnny Action-Junkie raised on COD. And the controls can be stiff, with the grand, sweeping gestures some bosses demand knocking the Move’s calibration out of whack. Ultimately, though, there’s no question that this journey of music and life is one well worth taking.